Until You Ask, the Answer is No

Until You Ask, the Answer is No is one of my favorite expressions. I’ve always believed in this and it has had a powerful impact on my life. It works for small, everyday things as well as big ones. For example, I was at a team building event once. It was cold and we’d been outside all morning. We came in to lunch but it was cold food – sandwiches and fruit. Everyone was bitching and moaning, but I asked the waiter if there was any soup. He brought out a steaming tray of soup for our whole table. Because I asked instead of complaining.

Here are some of the big ones:

I may have mentioned that I grew up at the dead-end of a dirt road in West Georgia. I got into Yale because I applied. Granted, I had great grades, test scores, extra curricula activities, etc – but if I hadn’t applied, I wouldn’t have gotten accepted.

In college, I wanted to go and study abroad – I had never been out of the country. So I went to the British Studies department and asked. I got to change majors (mid Junior year!) and live in London for 4 months. It’s my favorite city now and I’ve been back dozens of times in the last 28 years.

I was working for Coke back in the 90’s when I asked if I could trade jobs with someone in the Africa division. I got to live in Windsor, England and traveled all around Africa for three months.

Three years ago I was getting laid off due to budget cuts from the technology department, but asked one of the managers I’d worked with in the operations group if she knew of any openings. She ended up hiring me and I got to travel around the world: London, Dubai, Singapore and all over the US for two years.

Now I’m starting to work on my book – The Melting Point. It’s early days yet, but when I get enough done, I AM going to submit it. Because if I don’t, the answer will always be no. But who knows? It could be YES!

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4 thoughts on “Until You Ask, the Answer is No

  1. WOW…I am going to process that. I wonder how many opportunities I have missed. funny, I ask all the time at home and got No many times. However, it does lead to an occassional yes…

  2. Your entry is so true…….When I posted that quote on my facebook page, I had no idea how many people would appreciate the words. I have come to a point in my life that I have started reaching for the things that I have put on hold. I placed my entire life and goals on the back burner to take care of my husband and family. Now that my kids are grown I decided it’s time to stop telling myself “No” and time to pursue my dreams and goals. I have enrolled in Mercer University (again) in the dual degree program to obtain a BBA/MBA. I just finished up at Emory getting my Grant Writing Certification. Thanks for Blog entry it’s very inspirational.

  3. This is a favorite entry – and one of the traits that I have always admired about you. I am a big believer in ‘always ask’….you just never know. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Great article! So many people get in their comfort zone afraid to venture out. Perfect example of being secure enough with your abilities to reach for the stars!

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